Guitar Stories: Jim Nichols

My favorite guitar was made for me by a legendary guitar builder named Bill Hollenbeck, who’s unfortunately not with us anymore. Here’s the story of how we met, and my favorite instrument. It’s gotten much harder to travel with a guitar nowadays; if you’re lucky and there’s room in the overhead, maybe you can carry one on the plane. Years ago, in the early 2000s and late ‘90s, I went to the Chet Atkins festival and carried on a Taylor acoustic and a Telecaster, both in the same big deluxe [...]

7 Questions w/John Knowles

John is a Nashville-based, 100% Chet Atkins-bestowed Certified Guitar Player (or was it Country Guitar Picker?), a passionate teacher, and a lifelong student of music and his craft - as well as a recipient of an advanced degree in Physics from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. After plying that degree working for Texas Instruments for a short time, he and his wife had a son, so John naturally figured he'd better knock off the pie in the sky physics stuff and enter the real, working world, with a guitar [...]

7 Questions w/Maegen Wells

Setting up shop in Forestville, California, Maegen Wells is an unabashed fan of the art of luthiery and luthiers, the archtop guitar, the opportunity to include a variety of nuanced details in her guitar builds, and naturally... Buckethead. She spent 5 years with previous blog subject, Tom Ribbecke in his shop, and will be showing at the upcoming Rocky Mountain Archtop Festival here in Colorado this September, as well! 1. Are you a player yourself, and if so, how much time do you spend playing versus building? I am a [...]

7 Questions w/Bob Palmieri

Serving as Chicago’s DePaul University’s primary jazz guitar instructor for the last 28 years, Bob Palmieri has also maintained a busy performing and recording career that has included electric guitar work for the Rochester & Florida Philharmonic Orchestras, the Columbia, Windham Hill and Blue Note record labels, Ray Charles, Nancy Wilson, Brian McKnight, Lyle Mays, David Foster and many more. As a technical wizard in the field of guitar pickups and studio gear, he has also designed and built dozens of transducers and analog audio devices for well known musicians [...]

7 Questions w/Tom Ribbecke

Tom Ribbecke has been building world class guitars and basses for a long time, but by no means has he ceased to innovate, reinvent the wheel where he thinks necessary, or rested on his laurels in any way. Case in point - his incredible concept for greater soundboard projection by emulating the suspension surround of a speaker cone for more flexibility and greater board amplitude! 1. How did you come to be associated with Peter or Bud, and the Henriksen brand? I knew Bud initially. The reality of it is [...]

Amplifying Quality Instruments

Amplifying Quality Instruments by Peter Henriksen and Gerry Humphrey You only need an amp for performing, so other people can hear you playing, right? Well, it’s certainly important in that regard, but amps are also popular with lone guitarists as they improve their skills and continue their quest for the ultimate tone. Playing a wonderful guitar through a high-quality amplifier is a great way to develop finesse and touch with your fingering style as you don’t need to lean into the instrument itself too hard. What sounds better than a [...]

7 Questions w/Cristian Mirabella

With a foundation and training in the classical art and traditions of luthiery  - but a mind solidly fixed on the future and the ever evolving needs of modern players, Cristian Mirabella continues to push the envelope of electric archtop guitar design from a place of great experience and familiarity with the instrument's roots. 1. How did your relationship with Henriksen Amplifiers begin? It started in the early 2000’s. I grew up and was working in a shop at a time (80s /90s) when most guys were using Polytones, Roland [...]

7 Questions w/Roger Sadowsky

A world-famous and highly renowned luthier who made an impassioned, conscious decision to follow his true calling while pursuing a completely different one, Roger Sadowsky and his work have clearly had a massive impact in the solid body electric guitar and bass worlds. We chatted with him a bit about his equally impressive archtop models and the special correlation between one of these and the Henriksen JazzAmp. 1. Coming from an academic background in the sciences, how did you start building instruments, and were archtops always a part of the [...]

7 Questions w/Corey Christiansen

Dedicated to the democracy of jazz, more interested in the ensemble as a whole than himself or other group members, Corey Christiansen is a champion of the music and player for the people. A college level educator as well as renowned musician, Corey has some deep perspective on material, approach... and problematic youngsters at society gigs. 1. Tell us about the Afro-Cuban album you're working on this month and how you came to be working with the other musicians involved. I’ve been working with percussion guru Michael Spiro for years. We [...]

7 Questions w/Jimmy Bruno

What can you say about Jimmy Bruno that hasn't already been said by adoring peers in the Jazz guitar world (or disgruntled students challenged to reassess their beliefs)? Jimmy is a wonderful friend to Henriksen, an outspoken teacher, and an excellent human being. Let's find out a little more about him: 1. We've heard your teaching style is somewhat unique, in your approach to modal theory and modern harmony. Can you tell us more? I’m anti-modal and anti-scales! Theory only exists in a book; people are putting the cart before [...]

7 Questions w/Beth Marlis

Beth Marlis is a highly accomplished guitarist, Executive Director of The Musicians Foundation, and Vice President at Musicians Institute, among several other inspiring and impressive credentials! Seeing both work in the musical education field and playing music as just different phrasing of the same set of 2-5-1 changes, Beth has found that simply saying “yes” can take a person a long way. 1. What do you feel are the greatest challenges in a career that combines your own pursuits and interests as a musician with the business of music education? [...]

7 Questions w/Bruce Forman

Let's learn a little more about excellent guitarist and podcast-meister, Bruce Forman. Bruce has been very busy with his globetrotting Red Guitar show and hosts a popular jazz guitar-oriented podcast series called Guitarwank. 1. To start off with, tell us about the Red Guitar... The Red Guitar is a one-man show I have been performing around the world. It combines playing, storytelling and humor. The show is an exploration of a life in the pursuit of sound and deals with the inner (and outer) struggles of the artist lifestyle. It [...]

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